Senior Men

Practices: Tuesday & Thursday, 6:30pm - 8:30pm


6/17/17

Line Ups:

No getting around this one, based on form in the last 2 seasons, these are the top two clubs in the province. This weekend breaks the tie. Enough said. 

The 2's start heavy with Buddah riding beside Dubicki at hook with Hayden Clarke bringing a pizza to the tighthead spot. 

The 2nd row sees White and Sliefiersz team up to showcase work rate around the park and some skills in the line out. 

Tinivez joins the Mac Attack in the back row, Lickers and Blunt down from the 1's line up on rotation. Expect Tackles, and a whole lot of Ryan Blunt. 

Will McArthur also drops into the 2's squad this week on rotation, though expect him to factor in to both matches. He's a pretty solid pick for the first score in both matches. He'll be spinning tight service to Mitch Mcissac who steps back in as the starting 10. 

Jeff Kellam still looks fantastic, and as such earns himself a run in the centers. He's gonna have to show his outside centre pairing Pate a thing or two about getting a solid base tan. 

The back three will look to take advantage of some go forward, Ethan Hager will be a favorite to score the opening try, while Walsham Owen moves his attack out wide and will look to use his skills to find the ball in open space. Justin Ferraccioli comes back into the side this week after recovering from a swollen calf. 

The bench is large, so lets just list it. Richardson, Gagne, Carrow, Yates, Janus, Yates, Chisholm, Evans, Robinson and the VP. 

There can't be too many guys on the Scottish side that don't want a rematch of that McCormick Cup Final - safe to say this match sets up as one heck of a contest. It can go either way on the bounce of the ball - both teams have the ability to play a full 80 minutes and there's a full compliment on hand for this one. 

The front row is putting up some large height to weight ratio numbers this week, Big George Bocock comes in thick, while Cullen Fawcett literally anchors the scrum. The coach always calls his own number in cup finals and on family day - so we'll let him 2. 

When you are playing as well as Kolby Francis, you get to pick your jersey. This week the kid wants to put the work boots back on and grind it out in the engine room. Tom Van Horne will keep him square from the other lock position. 

The back row comes in with some form - JVH comes in with some swell into the 6 jersey, while Casey Bouk is the on form forward running around the park at 7 this week. The number doesn't really seem to matter at this point. Mckelvey will be eager to get a few licks in early, after missing his last opportunity against the Scottish in 2016. 

Adam Schouten ran a tight offense in his last outing against the Cru, so he gets the nod at halfback, while Nate Boeyenga holds on as the in form fly half. 

The centres roll through another tight combination this week, the DJ back in at 12 pumpin Tennessee tunes at the captain's request, Hugh Mcdonell leading the team from 13 again. 

The back three is becoming the hottest contest on the team, we've seen about 8 guys wear the strip back there, this week the top 3 on that list are Joe Newman, Connor Fitzsimmons and Rory Mcdonell. 

The bench welcomes back Joe Yelle from an extended vacation, looking dark as ever. Ryan Blunt looks about the opposite of that - and the more he plays in a day, the better he gets. 

Mike Wilson is going to be at the park coaching the kids, so we told him to strap up for some front row cover, along with Graham Boos. Paul Auzins makes his return to the side looking to earn his 2017 debut. It's a tough backline to crack this year, but Will McArthur and Ethan Hager have figured it out, both will be drawn on for some youthful pace in the 2nd half. 

It promises to be a great day at the club, with rugby on display. We'll see you there.


6/5/17

Game Reports:

The 2's faced a very skilled and deep Oakville Crusaders team on Saturday - although the game started out as a good back and forth, Quins mistakes saw them fall behind in the try count and the offense sputter in the 2nd half.  To their credit, the Cru played some nice rugby and scored a few well executed tries.  It's tough to beat an opponent that plays good rugby - and the visiting team just played more of it on Saturday.  There were some great performances, and everyone on the park was adding to the effort. But the better team won.  32-17 was the final, and the first lost of the season for the 2's. 

The 1's opened the game determined to set the tone, memories of a tough semi final still lingering around the park - and they did so in style.  From the kickoff, the Quins worked well over 15 phases moving down the field and eventually scoring the opening try.  The Cru defended well across the pitch, but the attack outlasted the tackles, and once through the line, the Quins cut deep, converting some long range scores from well supported line breaks.  A few 'home' bounces along the way, the first 33 points of the game were well earned by the home team - and 20 minutes on the Quins were in control. Taking a commanding lead into the half, the Quins looked over the list of fixes, and continued out into the 2nd half applying all the pressure.  Lots of hands helped carry the load on the day, and the bench ran out of subs.  

A great display of rugby, and a 67-15 win that keeps the Quins on a collision course with the Scottish - which just happens to be the 'Family Day' match up at home June 17th. It's going to be standing room only.

Special Edition - The Golf Report:

Well done to the Van Hornes for putting on another classic 9 and dine.  Almost makes you want to do it twice a year.  The crowd grew from the inagural, and everyone had a great time.  Except Ian Dorris.  He had more fun than everyone else.  

See you this week.

Dave 


6/2/17

Weekend Preview:

The Quins season is into full swing, this week marking the home opener and the second of four straight weeks of play.  So far so good for the Quins, as the club has opened with road sweeps in the first 2 rounds, but hosting the Cru is never an easy feat. Brantford's local nemesis, Oakville is always deep, and this will be a real test for a Quins team that has a few players taking precautionary rest this week.

The 2's are off to a good start, a pair of road wins weren't comfortable, but good teams find ways to win. 

The front row welcomes back the water boy John Evans who's looking more mobile this season, playing beside Carrow and Hayden Clarke, the sets should look solid. 

The 2nd row looks tall, Zack White and Stephen Robinson combining to look more threatening in the skies than Jordan Kozina flying back from Egypt with his laptop. 

The back row sees Will Richardson out for a run, with Ben Tinivez looking comfortable in the 7 jersey for another week, and Mike Slieferz looking to make a push for 1st team contention running in at 8. 

The backline has seen a reshuffle, Braden Stubel will lead the team at 9 and control the play, providing service to Walsham Owen at 10. 

Kyle Smith will make use of his hard nose defense at 12, while Andrew Pate will look to free up the outside backs from 13.

Yanusz McNeill will run the show from the fullback position, while the wingers look to conserve some energy, Paul Auzins taking a rehab run at 11 while Jordan Yates runs at 14. 

Subs - we need 'em.  Casey Bouk will be there. 


The 1's are coming into this game on a roll, but remembering back to the 2016 semi final, they are prepared to go to work. 

The front row welcomes back Big George Bocock to the mix after a rest week last week.  Casey Bouk continues his tear through the forward pack, moving to the hooker position, on the other side of Cullen Fawcett who holds down the tighthead position for another week. 

The 2nd row goes back to TVH and his younger brother Kolby - younger brothers are so annoying, aren't they Tom? Good stuff. 

The back row sees Joe Yelle rocking a base tan like no other - kid's dark. Mac Attack hits the 7 and 8 jerseys, Eric Lickers putting his hand up to play with his friend Ryan Blunt, who looked dangerous for approximately 130 minutes of rugby last Saturday. Beauty Alert. 

Adam Schouten managed to win back the #9 shirt without incident at training this week - anyone who knows Schoutie knows how serious he takes his Harlequins. Expect a few tackles and at least one 'keep' from the halfback position this week. 

Nate Boeyenga continues as the in form fly half, and he'll be sure to make good use of the guys outside him. 

The centre pairing this week sees the skipper Hugh Mcdonell side step his way to 12 this week, an improvised move coming in the 2nd half last week seemed to see Hugh enjoying life closer to the ball, and it makes room for the sweet sweet step of Connor Fitzsimmons who takes over 13. 

The back three continues to turn over talent, Rory Mcdonell runs the show with Joe Newman on the open and Will McArthur shows his skill set and confidence on the blind wing.  

Subs: We'll see who's standing after the 2's play.  We've got half a twin on stand by, and worst case Ontario, we'll strap boots to the coach and give him a nudge in the direction of the scrum. 

Hard to say the numbers are thin when the teams are full - I'm sure the 4 guys who took the horse and buggy into Toronto in '50 knew they still had the talent to win. 

It's going to take some serious effort to come out on top of the largest club in the province - but it's just what we've been training for. 

See you there. 

Dave


 

5/28/17

Big road wins by both teams today - the 2's ground out a late win by 2 points, while the 1's put up a big score line against a solid opponent, scoring some great tries in the process. 

The 2's game was back and forth, the Quins taking an early lead on the strength of Ethan Hagar's performance, the youngster creating a few scores from long range and looking menacing all day. A few injuries early in the game saw the visiting team bench depleted early, with several players being shuffled around between positions for a good deal of the afternoon. 

It wasn't always pretty, but the Quins were able to pick their moments and play some great long phases of rugby.  Captain Ryan Blunt looked generally dangerous all day, leading from the front.  Schouten factored in big, his experience and willingness to play all positions well held together a 2's side that battled hard against a strong and deep home team. 

This set the stage for the rematch of the fixture that was the low point for the Quins season last year.  The Barbs have a history of strong home performances against the Quins, and with a line up bolstered with a few caps and some big bodies, the game opened up at a stalemate.  Big collisions in the tight five set the tone, but a few miscues and some trouble in the set piece saw the Quins struggle to hit their stride early.  

Will McArthur once again kickstarted the offense, winning a footrace to the line off some nice support play.  Connor Fitzsimmons took advantage of his run on debut to score some absolutely great efforts taking the high ball, and looking nifty all day. 

Once the offense got rolling, the defense caught on as well.  The Quins line speed caused big problems for the Barbarians. The committment to the tackle looked good on all sides - the Quins found themselves having the luxury of an extra set of hands in open play, putting runners into space and converting line breaks to scores and looking clinical in doing so. 

In all, 9 tries to 2 and a generally fun day at the park. All four teams on the pitch played with the intended spirit and respect for the history.  We'll try and get the video out as soon as we can. There will be some fun stuff to watch. 

You can catch it live next Saturday at the Harlequins Club, 12pm and 1:30pm kick offs moved up to accommodate the annual Golf Tournament - message tvanhorne4@gmail.com if you want to play! 

Video: https://youtu.be/un70VwwzAUk


5/27/17

The Brantford Harlequins fixture back in 1950 was a road trip into Toronto - to which the Jones brothers could only gather a team of four men.  None the less, they made the trip down and played the fixture.  By the end of the season, they won the league title. 

This weekend the 2017 Harlequins make their first trip to Fletchers Fields with two full teams - and the same attitude.  They're showing up to play. 

The opponent is also one of the 'Original 6' teams that competed that year - the Aurora Barbarians have a great history that is coming off a dominant decade in which they lifted the cup - and sent the Harlequins packing - more times than one cares to remember. They are also the last team to defeat the Quins - and based on early season reports - they are looking strong for the rematch. 

The 2's get the first crack, lead by captain Ryan Blunt - because we know he won't talk back to the referee.  Just get back 10 and shut it. Better yet, stay out of the box. 

The front row is going to the guys who have been putting the miles in this week, Haydn Clarke and Buddha sit on either side of Justin Carrow at hooker.  

The 2nd row welcomes Steve Robinson to the mix beside the grizzled vet Jordan Yates in the engine room.  

Slifierz gets the nod at 6 this week as he has looked generally rangey around the pitch this week and will lead the line out. Ben Tinivez has been the best tackler in the side as of late, so it makes the most sense to run him at 7.  Ryan 'Try of the Year' Blunt earns the nod at 8 - and expect him to factor into the next game as well. 

Adam 'Three Tries' Schouten moves back to his favored 9 position - he had the option to start at 7 for the 1's and decided this was the smarter move for the club. That's first class, grasshopper - I hope you're taking notes. 

Mitch Mcissac will take advantage of that sweet service at the pivot. The centre combo is large and running straight lines.  Jay Shaw puts down some wheels wearing his 3XL kit at the 12 position, while Jeremy Hennessey runs at 13.  Shawzie's not gonna pass Jeremy, so go looking for ball where you can. 

The back three sees Justin Ferraccioli and his younger brother Lyndon Ray on the wings, with Jantez McNeill getting the nod at fullback.  

The bench is about as deep as the potholes in the driveway - Graeme Boos will factor into both games at some point, as will Ethan Hagar. Eric Lickers will be playing for a spot in the back row, though he also has some experience in the back line if needed, while Will Richardson will cover just about every position in the pack. 

 

The 1's start the first of a 4 game stretch looking to avenge a tough road loss in this fixture a year ago.  The faces have changed, but the taste feels the same. 

The front row welcomes Big George Bocock at the loosehead position, with Cullen Faucett hammering down on the tighthead side.  With Eric Howard back to Canada duty, and the coach coaching, we took the best tighthead in the league and dropped him into hooker. Lets hope the ref sets a wide tunnel at the line out. 

The 2nd row features the most excited player on the field - Kolby Francis gets to pack down with his hero Tom Van Horne.  Kid's gonna be all smiles at the set piece. 

The back row welcomes back Joe Yelle at 6, while Casey Bouk continues to tear it up at 7.  Graham Mckelvey took the 8 jersey home again last week, so we'll let him keep it - everyone's too scared to ask for it back. 

Will McArthur is full of hops this season and he takes a run at 9 doing his best not to untighten his haircut. He works with The Dangles who is also running tight at 10. 

Dylan Mundy moves back to 12 to get closer to the collisions, he'll get a real good view of the lumber laid by the skipper, Hugh Mcdonell, who's only one pass away. 

The back three are good.  Joe Newman.  Good.  Connor Fitzsimmons. Good.  Rory Mcdonell. Yup. 

Bench - based on game day form but here's the mix: Boos, Schouten, Slifierz, McNeill, Blunt, Hagar, Lickers, Carrow, Hennessey, Mcissac. 

It's been a big wind up this week - time to let it go this weekend. Back to where it all started. 

See you there. 

Dave

 


5/15/2017

We're kicking off this Tuesday at 6:45pm in Stoney Creek (Saltfleet HS). Everyone will get to play, but you must be a) Registered and b) Available on teamsnap.

For guys that started on Friday - or otherwise not playing Tuesday, we will have a captain's conditioning session at Saltfleet HS and then watch the rest of the 2nd team game to support the club.  

Game Report:

The lead up was less than perfect, but the Harlequins men opened the season in a big way against their local darby opponent the Stoney Creek Camels on Fridaynight. 

Aside from a few last minute scratches from the team sheet, the match day conditions were ideal.  Cool and dry on a soft surface, the stage was set for a good battle. 

The first half was a hot contest up the middle of the park, the Camels working some fast service to a pair of thick centers running hard lines.  The DJ Stevie P countered with a tackle remix and the skipper Mcdonell turned up the volume knob.  That beat set the tone for the match.  It was a back and forth first half, both teams running the direct route to the goal line looking for holes that didn't yet exist.  

A few errant passes saw the Quins offense concede the better half of the whole field end and hand the Camels 7 points early. Will McArthur backed a bit of the talk as a response, finding a gap in the defense and making short work of a few more defenders before scampering over for a full 7 pointer. 

A bit of penalty trouble gave the Camels some more territory to which the home team took advantange, converting another 7, to which the Quins would only answer with an unconverted score before the half. Quins down 14-12. 

The 2nd half started at an absolute sprint and the pace never really let up.  First out of the blocks was the Killboy Frances show, taking the opening kickoff about 60 meters knocking over several grown men in the process, and earning the Quins 7 points.  And from there, the gates opened.  The Quins backline reaped the rewards of the hard yards earned in the first half, exploiting gaps in the line and looking generally dangerous with each touch.  The forwards linking up around the park, Howard and Blunt combining for a long range break that resulted in another backline score. At the end of the 2nd 40, the Quins would add 38 points to their side of the ledger.  As impressive as the offense was to add that kind of margin, the Quins defense won them the game - Stoney Creek unable to score a single point in the 2nd half.  22 guys contributed over the course of the full 80 minutes, and at the final whistle it felt like a well earned 50-12 win. 

It was a great team effort, where everyone got dirty for the win.  Schouten and Bouk stepped up to start in the back row - and just shot to the top of the depth chart for the positions. 

It may have started a bit rusty, but the Quins have opened the season on the right course.  However that statement is only as good as the next 80 minutes - and there is an entire club of people working to contest it. 

 


5/12/2017

The Harlequins Fields are closed to the Senior teams this weekend, so we've had to make a quick flip of fixtures and will be playing away at Stoney Creek this weekend, and we've moved to a Friday Night kick off to boot.  The 1's play Friday@ Saltfleet High School at 6:45pm.  2's will travel down next Tuesday May 16thfor a similar night fixture. 

Wear your whites, and get to the field ASAP - we'll plan on getting onto the field by 6pm

Line up:

With weather wreaking havoc on the fields, the Quins are a little bit behind in their pre-season prep.  Combine that with a last minute kick off change, and a few changes in availability, and game 1 is already a bit of a hill to climb. 

All of that being said, good teams win - no excuses.  And with that, we'll start the season. 

The front row turns over a few spots, Boos and Bocock jumping up the depth chart to start off the 2017 campaign.  Eric Howard finds himself back in the mix for the first game of the season.  Having come off the bench in his last appearance for the Quins, Eric was 'really excited' to get the starting nod this week.  Kid's been training like a professional since January just waiting for the opportunity. 

The 2nd row sees TVH push his twin out to make room for little brother Killboy Frances packing down to provide some stability in the sets and nails around the park.  JVH slides over to showcase his range in the back row, wearing 6, and likely full bunker gear on Friday

Casey Bouk splits his 14 jersey in half to take a run at 7 - expect him to secure a lot of ball for the backline.  Graham Mckelvey is once again full value and holding onto that 8 jersey for another season. 

The backline looks so fast we had to slow it down just to read the names. 

Will MacArthur earns a start at 9, and spins to Nate Boeyenga at fly half.  This combo has been playing some exciting rugby as of late, and it will only benefit the guys outside them. 

The DJ Stevie P jumps back into the centre pairing, and no doubt there will be some battles over the radio as the Captain generally prefers his country tunes.  Good thing we've never known Hugh to get angry in that 13 sweater. 

We picked the fastest wings we could find to keep up with the wheels on the 15 spot.  Mundy and Newman won the foot race, and blew a little smoke of their own on the way. They'll slot in on either side of Rory Mcdonell. Get these guys the ball in space and get out of the way. 

The bench... is a bit thin due to some last minute availability requests. 

Ryan Blunt puts his hand up to be counted - kid looked in great shape at training on Tuesday and earns himself a spot on the bench just for looking the part. 

Mike Slifierz has also impressed early and will be brought in for 2nd row/back row cover. 

Connor Fitzsimmons got here in a hurry and it looks like he'll run his way off the bench at some point in the back three. 

Mcissac, Walsham and Walker combine for utility back cover, while Adam Schouten will keep an eye on the situation and inject himself when needed. 

There's the team that starts the new season.  It's the first of 14 games before we shuffle into the fall cup run - and it promises to be one of the best Friday nights of the season. 

See you there

Dave


5/7/2017

Sr. Men's Update

Season Preview - Quins home opener this Saturday - and Quins kit sale!

Practice continues this week - Tuesday and Thursday at the club - everyone's welcome - show your face to play this weekend!

Here is the link for registrations - it MUST be done by Saturday if you want to play!

http://brantfordharlequins.com/registrati…/registration_2017

 

We have some Quins gear for sale on the new website:

https://squareup.com/store/brantford-harlequins

 

For anyone looking for a 2016 cup jersey - you can order them on the site. Anyone needing white shorts/socks - check out the store.

See you Tuesday 6:30pm.

Season Preview

The 2017 Season is officially on - kickoff at Home this Saturdayd - and with that the Quins are both a win out of first place, and a loss out of last. And on goes the fight.

Mckelvey and Howard have kept up a good winter paddok at Goodrow Stables and the horses have been training Rocky Russian Winter style. A first inning rain delay meant an extra 2 weeks left in the stall for good measure. Expect both teams to be hot to trot on Saturday.

The captaincy moves up 2 jerseys and an age grade to the other Mcdonell brother. Expect a lot of plays to run through #13 again - and people named Mcdonell to score tries.

The front row has expanded - while still looking trim. Matt Lindsay takes a summer vacation to open up some game time for Cullen, Big George and Johnny Evans - while Mahar looks to rotate across to the hooker position to give him more energy to explore creativity in his loose play. Yikes.

The back row will see a good mix of young and old, with a side of bouk - expect a lot of rotation on either side of mckelvey.

Halfbacks, we have a few of 'em. Schouten, Piatek, Boeyenga and MacArthur can form a multiple of 9/10 combinations - we'll probably test all of them just for fun.

And the backline just continues to roll, some new additions to show off beside the usual stalwarts - the whole group is versatile enough that they'll all see time somewhere.

The goal for the season is to continue to raise the bar - and to do so faster and higher than the other team on the park. There's 80 minutes to do it, so lets get it done.

See you there

with Upright Rugby (www.uprightrugby.com) commencing Sunday May 14th for 5 Sundays 10:00am-12:30pm. $85.00 includes all sessions.
BRANTFORDHARLEQUINS.COM
 

3/7/2017

2017 Men's Update: Well I guess it's about that time again - with the calendar ticking over, the current trophies are now out of date, and at the start of 2017 - all the teams in the province are currently tied.
In no particular order, here is what to expect from the Harlequins Men's program for the upcoming season.
Off the top - lets open with some big news on changes that are now in place. 

The first team captaincy sees a passing of the torch from Rory Mcdonell along to his brother Hugh. It was not an easy decision, but no doubt having capable hands on deck made it easier. Rory has cemented himself as one of the great Harlequin captains in club history, and the mutual decision was in hopes of allowing Rory more time and energy to his new position with the National Senior Men's 15's team. 

Congratulations to Hugh on the new title. We're all excited to watch this guy lead the team with the ball in his hands. 

The coaching staff has continued to expand and evolve to strengthen the on field direction of the program - and the men's teams are excited to welcome back Jon Goldie as an assistant coach. Goldie brings a wealth of playing and coaching success to the program, and his familiarity with the players should help the transition back. Expect him to tell you exactly what he thinks - in an obnoxious and loud Scottish accent. 

We'd also like to announce two partnerships that look to enhance the athlete experience at the club. 

Luke Van Moerkerke at Athlete Farm Training has been brought in as our Strength and Conditioning coach - check out team snap to sign up for preseason conditioning sessions Thursday nights from 7:30-8:30pm starting March 9th. $5/person and a limit of 12 athletes per session - first 12 available get the spots - we can add a 2nd night if there is excessive demand. 

We will be continuing to utilize Luke's services throughout the season, with a conditioning and skills session on Wednesday nights from 7-8pm. A great chance for anyone looking to get into better shape to take advantage of Luke's skills and expertise. Don't forget to sign up via team snap to make sure you secure a spot for this Thursday! 

Our long time Athletic Therapist Mike Schouten is setting up his own therapy practice - and we will now have somewhere to see Mike outside of the pitch for advice and treatment on anything keeping you from feeling your best. 

A big congratulations goes out to Eric Howard and Rory Mcdonell on their first run on test caps for the National Senior Men's 15's team. These two have raw talent and the work ethic to match - and have represented the club well whenever given the chance. Well done boys. 

We've still got the usuals on tap for the season - Family Day will continue to be a big event, and the golf tournament revival was a huge success. Anyone else looking to get involved on the social side - please connect with us. There are a lot of fun things we can work on for the 2017 season. 

We are still in seek of sponsorship - at all levels. Anyone who may know of any interest - please contact Rory or I. 

There will be an announcement Harlequin kit for the 2017 season in the coming weeks - the web store will be back on line again this spring - featuring an opportunity to purchase Cup Championship jerseys and full playing kit - for those who have not yet made the conversion to white - it is way cooler in the summer. 
Hoodies, hats, t's and other rugby apparel will also be available. 

We're sad to announce that video analyst Brian Chapple is stepping down - Chapps' input last season was noticeable almost immediately, after review of the first two games - the staff was able to make changes that saw the Quins string together consecutive wins from week 3 to the McCormick Cup final. Best of luck in your new pursuits - which I am sure are going to be very similar to your old ones. 

Anyone looking to earn some money this spring and summer - have you tried refereeing? It is a great way to make some cash while improving your rugby IQ and giving back to the game. Referees are always valued, and we can't play more games without them. Reach out if this is something that interests you. 


Stay tuned for more club announcements including the 2017 season preview and schedule.


Rory McDonell set to make his Rugby Canada Test Debut

along with Eric Howard - 2 Quins, 1 Rugby Canada Game!

Article here: http://www.rugbycanada.ca/leagues/newsletter.cfm?clientID=3817&leagueID=0&page=99083

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